They say blink and you miss it. But nowadays,blinking,especially in front of the computer screen,is a cure to avoid computer dry eye syndrome (CDES). For,continuous staring at the computer screen for long durations is increasingly causing dry eye syndrome (DES) in all age groups. In fact,according to doctors,DES was traditionally associated with geriatric population,mainly above 60 years of age. However,with increasing usage of computer,the situation has changed now.
Some of the DES symptoms are irritation in the eyes,redness,puffiness,watery eyes,double vision and even transient blurring. Says Dr Srishti Raj,assistant professor,department of ophthalmology,Advanced Eye Centre,PGIMER: Earlier DES was associated with elderly population,as with age the eyes get dry and the tear secretion decreases. Secondly,in certain cases,some allergies and even dry atmosphere triggered it. However,now its the youngsters who are queuing up in the OPDs complaining of what we call CDES. When we use the computer,we do not blink. As a result,the eyes become dry and cause irritation and pain accompanied by redness. If your job requires you to look at the computer screen for long,make sure you blink after every 20 minutes.
On average,there are about 10 such cases reported per week in PGIMER eye OPDs,he adds.
Computer Vision Syndrome describes a group of eye and vision-related problems that result from prolonged computer use. Many individuals experience eye discomfort and vision problems when viewing a computer screen for extended periods. The level of discomfort appears to increase with the amount of computer use.
Adds Dr Mukesh Vats,retina consultant,Fortis Hospital,Mohali: It happens when we do not blink while using the computer and we only stare at the screen. As a result,the tear film,which is very important for the corneal nutrition,breaks up. In certain cases,it can leave a permanent defect in the eye. Often CDES leads to straining of the eye and even headaches. The same problem can happen if we sit directly in front of the air conditioners which leads to de-humidification of the eye. On average everyday,about 10-12 such cases are being reported.
Dr Ashish Ahuja,a specialist from Shankar Netralaya and currently working with Grewal Eye Institute,Chandigarh,says,CDES happens when our blinking rate decreases almost by half which causes dryness and increased tear evaporation.